In praise of the first coming
Sunday, November 19
Whenever the text turns apocalyptic, as it does this week, there would seem to be only two choices: either take it literally and join the lucrative doomsday machine of late-night, splendidly coifed Christian psychics, or begin your best apologetic backpedaling—cheered on by Bishop John Spong. If you choose the first option, to be a player in the apocalyptic game, then you too can help frightened people “read the signs.” There is big money in the “End-Times Game,” and what’s more, the deeply satisfying prospect of “Gotcha!”
If you choose the second option, and claim that it’s all just an allegory for the tenacity of hope in the midst of a world gone mad, then what becomes of history’s arc? Of human progress? Of the possibility that suffering itself will one day be redeemed?
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.